French/Italian Panthère NH110 Helicopter:
The NH 110 helicopter was a twin engine, tactical transport and multi-role naval helicopter in the 16-20 ton class meant to replace the SA-321G Super-Frelon, SA 330 Puma, and SH-3 Sea King. Like the NH90, the NH110 design and development contract was awarded by NAHEMA, the NATO agency representing the four participating governments of France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands to NH Industries the joint venture shared by Augusta, Eurocopter and Fokker. The design was for a medium lift aircraft to complement the smaller NH90 design. It was to have increased range and lifting capacity and work from the larger decks of aircraft carriers and land bases. The NH110 helicopter was built in two variants: the Tactical Heavy Transport Helicopter (THTH) and the NATO Aircraft Carrier Helicopter (NACH) to meet the requirements expressed by European Armed Forces.
Like to British/Italian EH101 Merlin, the new helicopter included many advanced features including an auto-pilot which reduces the load on the pilot. It was an all-weather design and, as previously stated, was designed to operate from the larger decks of aircraft carriers and land bases. The primary role of the helicopter for the Navy was Anti-Submarine Warfare but an Airborne Radar version was eventually developed when the need arose. For the Army and Marines, there was a medium-lift transport version also. This family of helicopters served the French, Germany, Spanish, and the Netherlands militaries successfully for decades and when the revolution of super strong materials occurred in the third decade of the Twenty-First Century, most were refitted with new materials. Various designs replaced the helicopter in the later half of the Twenty-First Century, but refitted versions were retained in the French military.
Because the French government had not upgraded much of its military during the first half of the Twenty-First century, the state of their forces dropped to deplorable levels. The majority of their equipment was old, worn-out, and outdated. The resurgence of colonial Britain in 2055 "woke up" the French government and made them realize that they had lost their status as a world power. To make up on lost ground, the French government funded and enormous military build-up program to re-equip its military in all areas. The sheer number of these projects made funding a replacement for the NH110 all but impossible. Funding was simply not available for a design that was not as highly visible. However, enough money was scrapped together to refit the helicopters so that they could survive in the modern battlefield.
A new version of the Panthère using fusion turbines was developed when those technologies became inexpensive. The new engines gave the helicopter virtually unlimited range in most of its missions. It was also decided that all of the electronics would be upgraded as well. Like the Merlin, wing stubs were mounted on all versions to increase altitude and increased range before overheating the engines.
The main version of the Panthère was an anti-submarine version. This helicopter was fitted with a special dipping sonar, magnetic anomaly detection gear, and thirty sonar buoys. A relatively short range radar was also fitted and all electronics are linked. As well, the helicopter featured a data link to transfer data to other units. The helicopter had six on the wing stubs which can carry a variety of different ordnance including missiles and torpedoes. For defense, the helicopter had chaff and flare launchers. The crew of the helicopter was normally four with a pilot, aircrewman, and two sensor operators.
Up until the mid 2040's, the French military had relied on several American built Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft for surveillance and detection from the aircraft carriers Charles de Gaulle (R91) and Richelieu (R92). These had all been retired between 2038 and 2046 and had left a gapping hole in the defenses of the country and its national interests. As a stopgap, a dozen NH110 Panthère helicopters were modified with British built Merlin Eye side mounted phased array radar systems. This version did not carry any sensor systems beyond a powerful phased array radar system with a panel on each side of the fuselage and had internally a powerful communication suit. No weaponry other than chaff and flare launchers were carried. To operate the helicopter, there was a pilot, aircrewman, and four crew members who operate the specialized equipment.
The general transport version lacked most of the specialized equipment carried in the other versions but had space for about fifty troops. The helicopter could carry about seventy passengers in emergency conditions. Instead of troops, thirty patients in litters could also be carried. The normal crew was three with includes a pilot, aircrewman, and electronics operator. In addition, the helicopter sometime carried two side gunners if equipped and not being man by troops. A variety of weapons can be fitted to the door positions. Early in service, 12.7 mm machines were often fitted but grenade launchers, rail guns, and pulse lasers were later fitted to the doors positions as well. For self defense, the helicopter had chaff and missile launchers as well.
The upgraded NH110 replaced the older NH110 and NH90 helicopters throughout the French armed services. When newer surface ships were designed, they were designed with larger landing platforms and hangers to suit the needed of the NH110.
Model Type: Augusta/Eurocopter/Fokker Panther NH110 helicopter
Class: Helicopter, Multi-Role
|Crew:||Anti-Submarine||4 (Pilot, Co-pilot/Sensor Operator, and two sensor operators)|
|Airborne Radar||6 (Pilot, Co-pilot/Sensor Operator, and four sensor / electronics operators)|
|General Transport||3 or 5 (Pilot, Co-pilot, Sensor Operator, and two possible gunners)|
|Troops:||Anti-Submarine||2 Passengers (Sonar Buoys can be replaced by 8 Passengers)|
|General Transport||30 Troops or 15 in Light or Medium Power Armor|
M.D.C. by Location:
|Side Missile Wing Stubs:||45|
|Side Phased Array Radar Panels (2, Airborne Radar Version):||50 each|
|Rear Cargo Bay Door:||55|
|Side Doors (2):||40 each|
| Main Rotor (6 Blades):||90 (15 each blade)|
|Landing Gear (3):||10 each|
| Main Body:||185|
 Destroying the rear rotor or one of the main blades will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying the main top rotor will knock the helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing (due to the reinforced nature of the Panthère, crew takes only half damage from an impact.
 Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.
Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing. The Panthère can land and take off from primitive runways.
Flying: Hover to 218.8 mph (352.1 kph / 190 knots) with a ceiling of 16,400 feet (5000 meters). The helicopter has great maneuverability and VTOL capabilities.
Maximum Effective Range: Fusion power system gives virtually unlimited range but engines must cool down after operating above 138.16 mph (222.4 knots / 120 kph) for twenty hours and engines overheat after eight hours after four hours if traveling above 172.7 mph (278 kph/ 150 knots.)
Height: 23.1 ft (7 m) normal, 18.2 feet (5.5 meters) for naval versions with blades folded for storage.
Rotor Width: 66 ft (20 meters)
Fuselage Width: 19.8 feet (6 meters)
Fuselage Length: 66 ft (20 meters) normal, 56.1 feet (17 meters) for naval versions with tail folded for storage.
Weight: 39,600 lbs (18,000 kg) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear Fusion, with an average life span of 10 years.
Cargo: Anti-Submarine: 14,300 kg (6,500 kg) instead of sonabuoys, Airborne Radar: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), and General Transport: 19,800 lbs (9,000 kg)
All versions except Airborne Radar can sling up to 11023.1 lbs (5000 kg) underneath. Cargo loads do not include external hard points on any of the models.
Black Market Cost: Anti-Submarine: 30 million credits, Airborne Radar: 50 million credits, General Transport: 15 million credits
- Side Door Gunner Mounts (2 - Transport Version): The transport
version of the Panther had two positions for door gunner. While the rail
guns were the most popular, grenade launchers were sometimes carried for
greater damage. These weapon systems were normally used when trying to
protect the helicopter while it is dropping troops. The door guns cannot
be used if the vehicle is traveling over 100 mph (161 kph)
- Giat Industries AAT-2 12.7 millimeter Machine-Gun: Uses Ram-Jet
style rounds similar to those developed by Wellington after the coming
of the Rifts. Weapon mount was carried in most early attack versions of
the helicopter but was replaced by rail guns in most models. Rail gun is
considered far more effective in terms of damage.
Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
Mega Damage: Single shot does 1D4 and 40 round burst does 5D6.
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot / gunner
Payload: 1,000 rounds (25 bursts).
- Giat Industries AAT-4A2 Rail Gun: Replaced the 12.7 mm machine-gun
in most models and inflicts greater damage and has a greater range. Rail
gun is the same basic model as is carried in the Gypsy Moth power armor
but is restricted to burst fire only.
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D4x10. No single shots.
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot / gunner
Payload: 2,000 round magazine for 50 bursts.
- FA AA-66 Automatic Pulse Laser Rifle: With
the Rail Gun, the pulse laser rifle replaces the heavy machinegun. Which
weapon is carried depends on mission. The weapon has the advantage of not
needing ammo but is shorter ranged. It is also much lighter weight than
either the heavy machine-gun or the rail gun.
Maximum Effective Range: 2000 feet (610 meters).
Mega-Damage: 2D6 per single shot, 6D6 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting (See Machine Gun burst rules).
Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks (usually 4-6.) Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (Use Machine Gun burst rules) are all available.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
- FA-440 Automatic Grenade Launcher: With the
Rail Gun, the pulse laser rifle replaces the heavy machinegun. Which weapon
is carried depends on mission. The weapon is similar to have a post Rifts
WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher mounted in a turret but fires a slightly
Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (914 meters)
Mega-Damage: 3D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft and 5D6 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, burst of 10 rounds does 2D4x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft and 2D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft.
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner
Payload: 800 Rounds.
- Giat Industries AAT-2 12.7 millimeter Machine-Gun: Uses Ram-Jet style rounds similar to those developed by Wellington after the coming of the Rifts. Weapon mount was carried in most early attack versions of the helicopter but was replaced by rail guns in most models. Rail gun is considered far more effective in terms of damage.
- Missile Hard Points (4 - ASW Version): The Anti-Submarine
Warfare version of the Panthère had four wing hard points that can
missiles or torpedoes. While all versions had wing stubs, only the ASW
version could carry ordnance on them. Each hard point was designed to carry
two medium torpedoes, two medium range missiles, or four short range missiles.
See Rifts Torpedoes for more details on torpedoes. Missiles were for limited
to strikes against surface vessels. The only restriction is that a hard
point must carry all the same type of missiles or torpedoes. Weapons can
be controlled by pilot or co-pilot. In two pilot missions, short range
missile racks are controlled by either the pilot or the weapons officer.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for long, medium, or short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.).Torpedoes: 20 miles (32 km).
Mega Damage: Varies by missile type for long, medium, or short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.). Torpedoes: By medium-range torpedo warhead type (See Revised Rifts Torpedoes)
Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must all be same range missiles or torpedo.
Payload: Eight medium torpedoes, eight medium range missiles, or sixteen short range missiles (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance).
- Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser (All Military Versions): Located
at the very tail of the aircraft are two chaff dispensers. When tailed
by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released
to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth decoys systems are
assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological
difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls
for smart missiles.)
- 01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles
are all destroyed.
51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
Payload: Eight (8)
All versions of the helicopter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:
- Internal Active Jamming Gear: Causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
- E.S.M.: Radar detector passively detects other radars being operated.
- FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared): Allows pilot and weapons officer to get visuals on targets at night.
- Laser Navigational System: Allow flight at low altitude without use of Radar. Gives a map of the Terrain.
- Thomson-CSF DWBA-13 Short Range Radar System: Radar system has 360 degree coverage and is primarily designed to track ground and surface targets although it has a limited ability to track air targets as well. Radar system has a range of 70 miles (112 km) and can track up to 12 targets simultaneously and integrates with other systems.
- M.A.D. Gear: This gear is normally only carried on ASW versions of this aircraft. This is special equipment that has the ability to detect metal objects. M.A.D. stands for Magnetic Anomaly Detector. This is very effective at detecting submarines. Range: 2 miles (3.2 km) to either side of aircraft.
- Thomson-CSF DUBA-9B Dipping Sonar: Dipping sonar is normally only carried on ASW versions of this aircraft. The sensor includes passive sonar, active sonar, and an underwater communication unit. The active sonar and communication system can be detected by any vehicle using passive sonar if within their detection range. Sonar can track up to 24 simultaneously and identify up to 12 of them. The sonar equipment has a unit that can be lower into water while hovering or flying up to 30 mph (26 knots/ 48 km) per hour. Range: Passive Sonar: 4 miles (6.4 km) Active Sonar: 6 miles (9.7 km). Underwater Communication: 2 miles (3.2 km)
- Merlin Eye Radar System: Purchased from the British in 2046, this side mounted phased array radar system with 360 degree coverage and can track both airborne and surface targets. Radar system has a range of 360 miles (580 km) and can track up to 256 targets simultaneously and can perform intercepts to up to 48 targets simultaneously. The system replaces all weapon systems and cargo capacity with electronic systems and requires 4 crew members to operate
- Advanced Communication Package: Give the aircraft the ability of multi-direction communication of 500 miles (800 km) as well as direction communication out to 300 miles (480 km) to up to 16 individual targets. The system also has 16 laser/microwave communication systems that are only limited by line of sight (Range of about 100,000 miles / 161,000 km).
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Writeup by Kamikazi (email@example.com).
Copyright © 2004, Kamikazi. All rights reserved.